tv NBC Nightly News NBC July 25, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
on the broadcast tonight, frustration nation. anger grows across america over gridlock on the debt crisis as tonight the president prepares to address the nation again about the looming meltdown. did he act alone? a man accused of killing dozens of people in norway faces the charges against him, and adds something ominous about his mission. the lost artist. a lifetime of talent and fatal demons and now the question, could anything have saved amy winehouse? and flip-flopping on what the right thing is to wear to work, where things have definitely changed. "nightly news" begins now. captions paid for by nbc-universal television
good evening. right about now on a monday night in july, a lot of americans have had it with what they see and hear coming out of washington. talks that start up and break off, insults and threats and slights between the two sides, the two parties, politics, posturing over real progress and compromise. listen to what americans across this country are saying today about their leaders in washington. >> it is embarrassing. if we hold ourselves out as a premiere country in the entire world, we can't even manage a budget, which every responsible family does and here our national government looks like curley, mo and larry or the marx brothers. >> now is the time where people have to check their egos at the door, as people say, and come together regardless of what party they're from because it's got to get done. >> frustration and embarrassment as an american that we have to
-- that, you know, the whole world is seeing us unable to work out an issue. >> they really can't come to something and, you know, for the good of the people, not for the good of the party. >> there you have it. the american people have been told there is a deadline looming next week. and if the nation's debt limit isn't fixed, we run the risk of financial armageddon, severe economic damage to our country, and not just our image. not everyone agrees with the premise, the two sides don't agree on the fix, and, again, tonight, the president goes on national television to make his case, right before the republicans come on television to make theirs. we begin our coverage here tonight with nbc's kelly o'donnell covering it all on capitol hill. kelly, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. house republicans promise to have all the details of their new plan posted online by midnight tonight, so those frustrated people we just heard and anyone else can read it for themselves. then the race begins to try to get to the actual voting that could end this crisis.
neither party is ready to blink. so there are now two competing plans. one proposal comes from speaker john boehner, who broke off debt talks with the president friday, but challenged mr. obama today. >> i think it would be irresponsible for the president to veto such legislation. >> reporter: senate democrats unveiled their own proposal, claiming house republican leaders cannot get the tea party wing to give. >> it appears to me at this stage the republicans are more interested in trying to embarrass the president than doing what's right for the country. >> reporter: despite the bitter tone, there is some common ground. neither plan raises taxes or cuts entitlement programs. the boehner plan requires two steps. first, raise the debt limit now by about $1 trillion, enough to last until early 2012. match that with $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. second, a new bipartisan committee to find up to $1.8
trillion in additional cuts. if congress agrees to actually make those cuts, only then can the president request another debt ceiling increase. >> i would call this plan less than perfect, but it does ensure that the spending cuts will be greater than the hike in the debt limit. >> reporter: senate democrats and the white house back the reid plan, raise debt limit until 2013, cut $1.2 trillion in spending now. also forms a new future spending cuts committee, reduce the deficit by $2.7 trillion, but that includes predicted savings from wars in iraq and afghanistan. at a speech today, the president walked the middle ground. >> neither party is blameless for the decisions that led to our debt. but both parties have a responsibility to come together and solve the problem. >> reporter: and one of the big issues for democrats is they say the republican plan would sort of expire before the president's re-election campaign, with
another vote to raise the debt ceiling again, they say that would put us right back here. republicans say they need to guarantee that cuts would actually happen in the future to prevent more of a crisis. now, after all this wrangling, aides tell me the senior level negotiators in both parties are still talking, trying to find a way to close the gaps. and as you mentioned, brian, speaker boehner will follow the president tonight. he'll speak for about five minutes to lay out why he thinks his plan should get the public support. brian? >> kelly o'donnell setting the stage on capitol hill for us tonight. kelly, thanks. our chief white house correspondent political director chuck todd is with us tonight from the white house. chuck, it seems to me there are almost two planes going on here. number one, the problem itself, and it couldn't be more important the various plans and solutions and theories on how to fix it. but number two, the toxic event this has become in our country. >> reporter: that's right. and the president is going to
talk about the toxic part of this to declare that washington is at a stalemate. he's going to make the case that boehner's plan can't pass the senate, may not even be able to get through the house, that's still unclear. and that reid's plan probably won't even get through the senate and certainly can't get through the house. so the purpose of the speech tonight is not substance. there isn't going to be a new plan that the president is going to lay out. there isn't going to be, for instance, a plan to talk about how the government is preparing for default if god forbid that happens a week from today. but instead he's going to make the case that we're at a stalemate, we need compromise and the american people should respond by asking congress to compromise to set aside some of their ideologies. so more of a political speech tonight than a case of the president going to be making as opposed to some sort of policy he's going to be laying out, brian. >> if you're around the white house, it is almost referred to as home field advantage, using the oval office, the east room, the podium and the briefing room, the seal of the presidency, the man or woman
himself to make the point, which now has been employed as a club several times in this. >> reporter: it has. and i think part of this has to do with not everybody's in agreement that friday, with what the president did when he came out in the briefing room late, when it was clear that boehner and the president and the speaker had sort of broken off talks and the speaker walked away and clearly the president was upset, that may not have been the best last impression necessarily for the president to leave out there. i think that may be about what tonight is as well, brian. >> chuck todd from the north lawn of the white house tonight. chuck, thanks. well, it is a mess. we have established that. and nbc news will have live coverage of the president's address tonight, along with the response from house speaker john boehner. that's tonight at 9:00 eastern, 6:00 pacific time. now we turn to that shocking killing spree in norway. the man accused of murder in this tragedy was in court today, but behind closed doors, because they wanted to deprive him of a public platform to vent his views.
a big question in that badly wounded nation, did he act alone? and there is a new death toll in this as well. nbc's martin fletcher has been covering the story from the start. he's with us tonight from oslo. martin, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, brian. norway's police today said fewer people have been killed than thought, not 93, but 76, with some still missing. that is small relief for a country that can hardly believe what just happened. anders breivik was brought to court this morning, the face of a mass killer. police described him as calm and unaffected. breivik admitted he carried out the killings but claimed he was not guilty. the judge ordered him held in custody for eight weeks, the first four in solitary confinement. an hour earlier, across norway, two minutes of silence for the victims.
later, a mass in memory of the victims was canceled at the last minute, too many people came. >> i think we're trying to take the city back to show human energy after such a powerful and vicious act. >> reporter: but then, chilling news. police revealed breivik told them there were two other terror cells. in his 1,500 page manifesto posted on the internet last week, breivik wrote in 2002 he met with nine people from eight countries to map out an anti-muslim crusade. so now police are investigating. are there any more breiviks out there? breivik told his lawyer there are. >> i don't know how many countries, i don't know which countries, but there are cells in other countries. >> reporter: norwegian police say they don't believe this, but can't discount it either. on the internet, breivik called for a christian war to defend europe against muslim domination. how to respond to muslim immigration is an issue that already divides europe, but peacefully. in switzerland, minarets have
been banned. in belgium, burqas banned. france, burqas and praying in the streets banned. while this weekend, right wing leaders in europe rejected all forms of violence. they don't want this to happen again. in norway, if one image sums up the nation's pain, it is this. as emergency workers mourn, others break into the national anthem. ♪ brian, here outside oslo cathedral, the center of the mourning, there is a sense of disbelief. as for breivik, he told the court he expects to spend the rest of his life in prison, but in norway, where there is no death penalty, the maximum punishment is 21 years. that means breivik, if found guilty, could be out of jail by the age of 53. >> martin fletcher in a very sad city of oslo, norway tonight, martin, thanks. as his long manifesto shows,
the suspect in these killings seemed to be heavily influenced by some people in this country who write and blog about the perceived threat from islam. and tonight one of them, a man named robert spencer, tells our national investigative correspondent michael isikoff he's being unfairly blamed for any of the motivation behind this tragedy. >> reporter: in the aftermath of the oslo mass murder, investigators are focusing on that 1,500 page manifesto, in which accused suspect anders behring breivik vows brutal and breathtaking operations to stop the ongoing islamic colonization of europe. angry words. inspired, some analysts say, by heated rhetoric from groups in the united states, such as stop the islamization of america, its co-founder robert spencer cited more than 50 times by breivik. spencer has written the traditional islam contains violent and supremacist elements. breivik says he would be an excellent choice for the nobel
peace prize. but spencer told nbc news today he bears no responsibility for what happened in oslo. >> there is nothing in any of my writings that is anything but a defense of human rights, a defense of the equality of the rights before -- of all people before the law, and so if somebody gets from that that they should kill, well, then he's nuts. >> reporter: some analysts say words can be weapons themselves. >> when you push the demonization of populations, you often end up with violence. >> reporter: and that may be exactly what has happened. the 2008 burning of a mosque in tennessee is evidence of what she says has been a spike in anti-muslim attacks, including arsons and bombings in florida, michigan, oregon. >> this attack in norway should be a wake-up call for our country, for decisionmakers. >> reporter: darryl johnson tracked extremist groups in the united states for the department of homeland security and sees parallels with breivik's writings. >> we could have a similar type of attack here. that's my greatest fear, we would have a timothy mcveigh type, carry out a mass shooting event.
>> reporter: homeland security officials told us they're careful not to monitor political protests but watch for domestic violent extremist activity regardless of ideology. and so far they say they see no evidence the problem is getting worse. michael isikoff, nbc news, washington. and there is news tonight from the intersection of sports and business in this country. nfl players voted today to accept a new contract with team owners, ending a four-month lockout that threatened to cancel the upcoming season. the owners will get more of the league's revenue in the deal while players won some gains in health care, free agency rules. the season, by the way, set to begin september 8th, with the former super bowl champion new orleans saints visiting the defending champion green bay packers. in los angeles tonight, an arson unit is looking for whoever is setting a string of fires in north hollywood. 18 vehicles have been destroyed just since thursday. and officials are also investigating an apartment fire that sent two people to the
back now with the sad news from over the weekend of the death of amy winehouse in london. she had a voice beyond her years, and it must be said for her part, she changed the music business. and yet she ran out of years on this planet and was chased down by addiction. questions remain tonight about how she died and whether anything could have been done to save her. nbc's stephanie gosk has our report tonight from london. >> reporter: it was a combination of the voice and the lyrics. at a young age, amy winehouse was already being called one of the best singer/songwriters of her generation. her second and final record "back to black" was nominated
for six grammys. it won five. ♪ i go back >> reporter: winehouse launched her music career here in london's camden town, inspired by jazz, motown and occasionally hip-hop. ♪ you know i'm no good >> she sounded like she was from an entirely different era. and maybe more than one era at once. >> reporter: camden is gritty and eclectic. it has been the heart of london's music scene for decades. amy winehouse fit right in. but with the scene came the drugs and the alcohol. it was a temptation that she, like many young musicians before her, couldn't resist. her swift downward spiral played out painfully in public. there were arrests, emergency room visits and trips in and out of rehab. in belgrade this spring, what was supposed to be a comeback performance was instead a disaster. like her lyrics --
♪ going to rehab i say no, no, no ♪ >> reporter: -- winehouse seemed to resist the help that people around her desperately wanted to give. robin played in the band. he blamed amy's struggle on her sudden fame. >> being out in the limelight is not easy for anybody, especially a very sensitive person like amy was. >> reporter: an initial autopsy has not determined the cause of death. london police are still waiting for the toxicology results. today, winehouse's parents visited her london home where she died on saturday. >> we're devastated and speechless. >> reporter: the tragic death of a young musician, an all too familiar story, but for her family and her fans, no less painful. amy winehouse was recording her third record, her label had promised it would be released last year, but it kept getting delayed. she's believed to have recorded at least several tracks, a final gift to her devoted fans. brian? >> stephanie gosk in london for us tonight, thanks. we'll take a break.
on saturday in tulsa, of the 6,000 people who showed up, one guy wondered if his 17th century carved chinese rhinoceros horn cups were worth anything. turns out they are. an estimated $1 million to $1.5 million and that, ladies and gentlemen, would be a new "roadshow" record. hundreds of volunteers turned out at arlington national cemetery today to help spruce up the final resting place of so many of our nation's veterans. an environmental group called planet sponsored the project which donated about $200,000 worth of landscaping services including the installation of an irrigation system. as you may have heard over this past weekend, this country lost a celebrated and decorated military officer. retired u.s. army four star general john shalikashvili died at the age of 75. he was the first chairman of the joint chiefs of staff not born in this country. he was born in poland. he emigrated to the u.s. as a
teenager, settling in peoria. he was a vietnam veteran who served president clinton at the pentagon for four years. we also learned this weekend of the death of nguyen cao ky, a americans of a certain age will remember him as former leader of south vietnam, who served as commander of the air force and prime minister of the regime, backed by the u.s. during the war. he was known for his trademark scarf and mustache. when saigon fell in 1975, he escaped by choppering on to a u.s. warship and settled in the u.s. for a time as a liquor store owner in california. he was 80 years old. up next, it is not your parents' workplace anymore, but where do you draw the line when summer arrives in a decidedly new era.
we're going to close here tonight with something of a generational divide. an example of what happens as new generations come up and enter the workforce and the workplace. if you need evidence that we're a more casual country now, start with flip-flops, say, instead of sensible shoes. there now has been a study of how folks dress at work.
and how what used to be beach wear a generation ago goes over these days at the office. our report from nbc's jane wells in los angeles. >> reporter: the american workplace has become a fashion crime scene. anything goes. >> it is almost as if business casual, we have forgotten the business portion and went straight to casual. >> reporter: behaving badly at work isn't new. >> you guys want coffee? >> reporter: but dressing badly is. >> hello. >> reporter: we have gone from fedoras to flip-flops, even in the most formal settings. have we gone too far? a survey by consulting firm adecco found americans like casual work attire to a point. short skirts and strapless tops are bad, but 71% said flip-flops are the biggest fashion flop of all. >> it is funny that people are making the choice to wear them even though they feel it is not appropriate. >> reporter: john carnahan is chief technology officer at internet ad company the rubicon project in los angeles. what would it take for you to wear a tie? >> a wedding. funeral. >> reporter: he always wears
flip-flops. >> you're judged by the quality of your work, right? you're judged by, you know, the output of how much you're building. >> i would never wear flip-flops to work, never. >> reporter: this account manager prefers skirts and wedges. as a kid, her mom refused to let her wear sweats to school. >> there was a young lady who came in and interviewed in shorts and cowboy boots and i was shocked. i was so shocked. >> reporter: boss craig roa wants employees to feel comfortable, though he draws the line somewhere. >> i think underwear. >> reporter: coming in to work in your underwear you would not approve of? >> probably not. >> reporter: good to know. etiquette expert jules hearst says first impressions are made in four to six seconds and clothes really do make the man or woman. >> yoga pants are a no-no. big earrings, we don't need to hear you before you get there. >> reporter: in the end, a lot depends on what your job is. construction workers don't need ties. in the tv news business, all you
see is what's above the waist. what i wear from the waist down is irrelevant. jane wells, nbc news, los angeles. don't give away all of our secrets, jane. that's our broadcast for this monday night. thank you for being here with us. i'm brian williams. we hope to see you right back here tomorrow evening. good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com good monday evening to you, and welcome to a special edition of "nbc bay area news" at 6:00. >> we're just moments away from a presidential address by barack obama over the debt stalemate announced a few hours ago. >> this is a contentious debate and a bitter few weeks. mr. obama is expected to to urge americans to pressure lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to